This week in EDTC 300 I was instructed to complete an hour of code and document my process. Well, after dreading it for days I have finally done so. I had never taken a computer science class in high school or in university, in fact, I barely know anything about computers at all. Despite being hooked to my cellphone I really have no idea how it does the things it does. So Katia gave us a brief tutorial in class but to be completely honest I was still extremely confused. I decided that my best option was probably to do the Hour of Code option on Code.org. I chose to do the Dance Party option because I saw that a lot of others in my class chose it and from the videos, I saw it looked very entertaining.
So I started on level one where they simply walk you through the basics of what you are doing. The video shows you how to do your set up and then from there, the prompts get you through the rest. Essentially your “code” is the Workplace on the right-hand side of the screen, in the middle is where you can choose your codes from and the left-hand side of the screen shows you the animation you have created. You simply drag your codes from the toolbox into the workplace and wa-la you have your animation. It isn’t quite that simple obviously, there are a lot of things you have to understand in order to make a smooth sequence but in essence, that’s what it is.
I slowly moved on and hit level 2 where I provided a brief update on where I was:
In this video, I am just starting to get the dancer to do their moves by inserting the moving blocks after 4 measures (because that is typically what dancers do their sequence in).
After this sequence I took a picture of the actual code which you can see by pressting show code on the right. Here is what it showed for this animation:
Normally this “computer language” would make absolutely zero sense to me, but after doing the coding myself I am able to see bits and pieces that put the animation together.
The next level I snapped a quick picture on was at level 5 where it gets you start making the dancer do different moves every two measures, this one took a little extra work as I was not quite sure what it was asking of me but it basically wants you to set it up so the dancer does a different dance move every 2 measures by placing the block under the dancer, this would go on forever until you tell it otherwise. I selected randomly so the dance moves would happen in no particular order.
Level 6 is where I really started to have fun because things really started to come together, here is a video of my adding a 3rd dancer to the right:
Finally, I made it to level 10 and I was almost done. I explain a bit more of what I was doing in the video:
After this, I had two levels left which I flew through pretty quickly and was given my hour of code certificate:
Overall, I had a very good experience of learning how to code on this website, yes, I said that I was only 9 years old but it was great to see what my students would be experiencing if they were doing the same thing. Now i do see a lot of value in learning how to code because it just gives you the background knowledge and basics of understanding of something we use every single day. I also think teaching this to students at a young age would open many doors for them as they get older. As time goes on the need for technology keeps getting bigger and bigger, if students can develop this skill and have an above average level of competency in it, it may just open doors for them in the future. I also think it would give them some appreciation for what is going on within the technology on a daily basis. I definitely think I am going to do this in the future with my students and I might even practice it a bit more on my own just to further my own understanding on coding.